Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 1 News List

President says Taiwan should cooperate militarily with Japan

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday held out hope for a military alliance with Japan, despite the fact that the two countries do not have diplomatic ties.

"It is the common goal of Taiwan, Japan and the United States to safeguard peace in the Taiwan Strait and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," Chen said. "I believe the three countries are allied in values and partners in security. Although Taiwan and Japan do not have diplomatic ties, I hope that a constructive quasi-military alliance could be established between the two countries."

Chen made the remarks while receiving Reijiro Hattori, chairman of the Interchange Association, Japan, at the Presidential Office yesterday morning.

Chen thanked Japan and the US for affirming in February last year that the protection of Taiwan was a "common strategic objective" and encouraging both sides of the Taiwan Strait to resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue.

He also acknowledged that the Japanese government had expressed grave concern over Beijing's "Anti-Secession" Law and firmly opposed a proposal to lift the EU arms embargo against China.

Chen extended his appreciation to the Japanese government for its support of Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Assembly as an observer and for voting in favor of the nation's attempt to join the body in 2004.

Meanwhile, Chen congratulated Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on his re-election and wished his party luck in January's parliamentary elections.

Jammeh won a third term in a landslide victory in September, garnering 67 percent of the vote. The inauguration is scheduled for Dec. 15.

Chen made the remarks while receiving Bala Garba-Jahump, Gambian secretary of state for foreign affairs and national assembly matters, at the Presidential Office yesterday morning. Chen also invited Jammeh to visit Taiwan after taking his oath of office.

Jahump said Gambia would retain its ties with Taiwan and support the nation's attempts to join international organizations.

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